Thursday round-up

Photo: @Caramcq

The days are ticking down rapidly ahead of Saturday week’s All-Ireland final. Very rapidly, in fact, because it’s already Thursday and so there are only nine days to go to the big day.

I meant to do this round-up before now but I didn’t get to it, with the net result that it’s now a longer list of things. Ready for a quick gallop? Right, let’s go.

First off, we need to cut straight to the chase. Mayo GAA yesterday made a direct appeal for funds to support the preparation of the team for the final. In the normal course of events there would be all manner of fundraising events, which would be part of the fun in the lead-in to the final, but none of that is possible this year.

But funds are still needed to ensure the team is as well prepared as possible. So, despite the time of year (and recognising people’s personal circumstances), the link to the donation page is here and if you’re able to support this appeal in any way big or small then please do.

Next, let’s all salute Cillian O’Connor. Following on from his record-breaking 4-9 personal haul in Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final against Tipperary, the Ballintubber clubman was voted Footballer of the Week and was then selected as the PwC GAA/GPA Footballer of the Month. Congrats on the double to him.

Next, some good analysis from Aidan O’Rourke on the RTÉ website (here), in which he looks back at our performance against Tipperary and considers what we need to do to trouble Dublin.

Speaking of analysis, Billy Joe Padden’s column in the Mayo News (here) is also worth a read. So too is Edwin McGreal’s piece in the same paper (here), which looks at all that’s good and bad about the style of play adopted by James Horan’s team.

Looking ahead to the big game, it was announced yesterday that David Coldrick will ref it. It’ll be the Meath official’s third final, having previously taken charge of the 2007, 2010 and 2015 deciders. It’s a long time since we’ve had him in a Championship game – our All-Ireland semi-final clash with Tipperary back in 2016 was the most recent time that this happened.

There are two pieces with Aidan O’Shea in the Irish Examiner. In this one, the captain makes the case for the winning team to be allowed to take Sam home with them. In that same piece, James Horan confirms that Chris Barrett and Eoghan McLaughlin, who both hobbled off in the second half the last day, should be fit for the final.

In the other piece (here) Aidan argues that players’ families should be allowed to attend the final, pointing out that those attending could take an antigen test beforehand. It’s an interesting argument but what I’d be wondering would be whether or not our set of player relatives would be able to out-shout their lot in Croker.

That’s about it. Keep listening to the podcast – the one that went online last night is a good one, the highlight of which is Mike Finnerty’s chat with the one and only Seán Rice, and we’ll have the next one up later on tomorrow night. This is our Q&A episode and we got loads of great questions from listeners for it, which Ed and Ger did their best to answer. Stay tuned for that.

43 thoughts on “Thursday round-up

  1. It’s not a great time of year to be fundraising for the team but needs must.
    I’d ask people to consider what they would spend tickets, food, travel etc to shout on the team in a final. Any portion of that that could be donated towards the team can only help.
    There’s a stark reality that when you are paying for all Ireland final tickets most of the profit or Excess over cost from that ticket money is funnelled to our opposition on Saturday week.
    At least this way you have a better chance of your money getting to benefit the team you support.

  2. So we’ve gone from the biscuit tin to the virtual biscuit tin. It’s embarrassing really. We’ve developed and learned so much on the pitch in the last 20 odd years but it seems behind the scenes (apart from the cairde initiative), very little has changed. We’ve sent representatives to Premier league clubs and even to an American football team to see what could be improved regarding player development. Did anyone think to see how they run their affairs off the pitch? How they treat their customers? Yes customers, we’re supporters of our team but we should be seen as customers of our county board. They control the product so its up to them to sell it. Sponsorship brings money, corporate events bring money, both are well out of my price range. What isn’t out of my price range is merchandise. Go to any soccer club in the UK or American football club in the US and see how its done. Why can it not be replicated here? I’ve seen merchandise abroad from jerseys, to bras, to bedding, to sweets, to even puncture repair kits for bikes. This year is a Christmas all ireland, Christmas colours red and green, Mayo colours green and red. Mayo santa hats, mayo elf hats, mayo place mats, mayo bunting or tinsel for your Christmas tree, the possibilities are endless. Imagine the Mayo kit van coming to your town or village this week brim full of Christmas Mayo merchandise. Support your team buy official merchandise would be the call. Mayo win the final and that Mayo santa hat or that Mayo tinsel will always have a special place in your home.
    I’m not saying don’t donate, please do if you can, I just think there’s a better way. Instead of the biscuit tin, how about a tin of official Mayo biscuits only €10. Or am I just Christmas crackers?

  3. I don’t see what other option the county board have this year? They can’t do physical fundraisers, can’t raffle all Ireland final tickets and they can’t just produce and sell a pile of Christmas Mayo merchandise in the space of 13 days.

    Maybe cut them a bit of slack on this one!

  4. The games have been something other than Trump, Covid, Climate disaster, Work from home, Economic uncertainty, Isolation from family.
    Made a donation, when you factor in what we’d spend on matchdays this year.
    I think perfectly fine endeavour, very few alternatives to organise fundraising given Covid conditions.

  5. Obviously, not everyone is in a position to donate. That is understandable.

    I was proud to donate. I chose an amount I was comfortable with. I’m sure many others will do likewise. I’m saving money on tickets, diesel, fast food, drinks due to not travelling to games so I’m still spending less on football in 2020 than previous years, even after donating.

    This scheme is far better than “biscuit tins” as we can be reasonably confident it all goes to the Mayo GAA. More specifically, it’s directed to the senior football team in the all ireland.
    You get a receipt indirectly as the donation shows up in your bank or credit card records.

    “Biscuit tins” mean cash, with all the risk of loss or pilfering, etc. You get no receipt from a biscuit tin. There is no comparison.

    I agree we need to explore all funding options in a sustained manner, including merchandising and corporate sponsorship and more. Right now there is little time before the big game.

    Up Mayo !!!

  6. Making a donation today too. It’s been a weird year and when you think about it where can they get the money from? No fans paying entrance fees.
    I believe Wideball is over the bar on this one, cut them some slack and donate what you can.

  7. Wide ball. Accept that totally. My post is a vision of what could have been and hopefully to start a debate that would spark someone in charge into action for the future.

  8. Hello All,

    Hope this is not in bad taste as I can’t match the poetic skills of Revellino.

    DUBLIN for 6
    My arSe
    ‘Mayo’ for Sam

    Taken from Happy Christmas recorded in Shrule.

  9. Thanks Willie Joe. Great to circulate that appeal here with a link to the page.

    Here’s more from the Examiner. Their podcast with Paul Rouse hosting is great. They cover Dubs and Cavan too, but there are all sorts of nuggets in it. I didn’t know for instance that Mayo had a full training session in Abbotstown the Wednesday before our last league game with the Dubs in Croker!
    https://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/gaa/

  10. Watched that 3rd quarter v the Dubs just now. we were absolutely annihilated in the air on the kickouts. The area is going to have to be swamped when we go long and everyone know where the ball is going and to who. would need 4-5 under the dropping ball and midfielder has to be running into it. We have to bring more aggression there too.Also after watching it i would put Keegan on Fenton on a pure disruption mission.

    Would put a sweeper on front of the FB line.

    one other thing that was evident was that balls dropped into the keepers hands are potentially disasterous out. One goal came out of this type of turnover.

  11. @Ah now, I think you should look up the recent appointments to the Mayo board. They have appointed some great people in the right positions and they are finally planning to replace the pitch in Castlebar, for example. Believe it or not we have one of the better run county boards in the country. We’re in a good place for the future. Very happy to donate to the team for their final prep. Haven’t had to pay for a ticket all year and hopefully it will help give them the best prep they can get prior to the match.

  12. Very happy to donate to our dedicated team.
    Saved a lot of spending from not being able to go to games this year!!
    Hope their families get to be there, would mean so much to the lads.
    Best of luck to all and may it truly be a memorable Christmas forever.

  13. I just made my donation online. And I feel great! Just click on WJ’s link and you will be doing something positive and worthwhile for our lads and you will feel part of the effort. Imagine if we won the damn thing!
    Go on go on go on go on go on!

  14. I will also donate. Where could you buy the enjoyment these lads have given us over the last 2 months – never mind the last 10 years – priceless.

  15. Funny enough Centerfield, Cahir O Kane recently did a piece on that 3rd Quarter. His view was that we struggled, but the kickouts weren’t our undoing. I think he stated that we won 5 of our 9 kickouts, but either turned the ball over, dropped the ball short or put the ball wide on those attacks. I’d have to watch that period of the game again, but it felt like we were penned in completely (as it was unfolding in front of me on the day in Croke Park).

    Kickouts are going to be crucial in the final though, there is no way we can win if we don’t improve dramatically in that regard

  16. no pressure on anyone its there own decision.there is no money coming in this year, do you think team preparation runs of fresh air.

  17. Happy to donate, in fairness, the County Board’s arms are tied when it comes to fundraising this year. If you can at all, please donate, a small sum can go a long way. I know 2020 has been tough for so many. This group of players have given us so much to be happy about in an all together dark 2020.

  18. No need to play the man, TH! I’ve taken out that uncalled for hit. I agree with you, though, that it’s everyone’s own decision to contribute. Personally, I like the straight-up nature of this appeal and I was more than happy to contribute to it.

  19. Quick point on the donation to the mayo team. I’m not living in Ireland but the first I heard of this fundraiser was on this blog. Is it getting any publicity around the county? We hav to do more to get these things off the ground especially to all the people living aboard. A lot of people I talk to never heard of this fundraiser and would love to help out there county. We hav to tap into this sooner rather than later

  20. That’s a fair point, Mayo 36. It was advertised on their social media channels – which was where I came across it – but of course not everyone is across all, or, in some cases, any of these so could miss the appeal altogether.

  21. If you think about it, in a normal year there would have been over 30-40k mayo supporters in Croke Park last weekend with tickets €50 each.

    If everyone donated the price of that ticket, we wouldn’t have to worry about fundraising for a long time!

  22. I was happy to donate what I was comfortable with as a poster above mentioned. I would however be interested to know what the total is heading towards, I don’t know I always find seeing that on the go fund me page as a motivation.

    What I remember frm that 3rd quarter of the last Dublin game was people crying out for someone to ‘go down’ to get us a breather and a chance to reset.

    Keegan on Fenton would go along with what Darragh O’Sé talked about in his column this week.

  23. Surely every Mayo supporter, if there a fan atall, should play the Mayo lotto .Its online and is accessible on the web and very easy to play weekly with a few euro.This will not rob anyone and if played by all Mayo supporters thoughtout the world, would realise a huge sum for the County Board.
    The team needs funding badly and donations are required ,which I fully agree with at this critical stage,but supporters, please play the lotto all year and support our great dedicated team and management.

  24. James Horan should play Tom Parsons in a sweeper role in front of the fullback line, as we were exposed early in the game against Tipp.
    He would add a bit of height and strength (if fully fit) badly needed in that area, he has good hands and would be a great asset in front of goal.
    Think back when Barry Moran was used in this manner some time ago.

  25. Philor there is no way horan will play sweeper. Parsons never played that role and is no where near where he was. Great that he is on panel at all after that injury

  26. Each to their own and there should be no pressure on anyone to make a contribution. For myself I felt I wanted to because aside from the usual outlay on tickets and travelling to matches I got a little money back from my season ticket and mayo tv were very fair in giving money back for streaming of club games etc. So its money and more that I would normally have given to the cause anyway. Like you Willie Joe, I like the straight up and ask approach for something that is perfectly understandable.

  27. Lucero, I was not aware that the Mayo Gaa Lotto could not be played outside Ireland.
    The Irish Sweepstake which I’m sure would be long before you were born,was huge in the USA and the main contributor to Company who ran it, though I don’t thiink our Hospitals benefited that much.
    Maybe someone could inform us if it is or not possible to purchase an Irish lotto outside Ireland.

  28. @Sinead37, I didn’t get an email either, possibly we’ll get one over the weekend. I took a screen shot of the online receipt as proof.

  29. Neither did I get an email but I couldn’t care less. There could be a crow on the line somewhere between here and Castlebar!
    I’d love to see a progress report on this fund raiser something along the lines of the big graphic you sometimes see outside churches, school etc. It might be a great motivator to donate. And to spread the word on social media so that it becomes viral. I haven’t a clue how one might do that but I’m sure there are plenty on here who could. Wouldn’t it be something if we could use pure people power to outdo the huge corporate sponsorship of the Dubs. Now that’s something that would really make my Christmas – not quite as good as bringing that big silvery bucket across the Shannon but ……

  30. I am happy to make a donation I have spent many years following Mayo ,it would be brilliant if they could bring it off this year,best of luck to the team

  31. mayo36 I live overseas and made a donation through the Official Mayo gaa site. No problem. Regarding the lotto I’ve gave it up as a bad job. When it comes to checkout. Its say I have to phone Ireland as my credit card is issued in uk and get my card registered. Too much hassle.

  32. Agree with you WJ, I like this direct approach to fund raising also. I am happy to give my 2 p’s worth. Its for the mighty men from Mayo after all. A proper revenue gathering channel should be developed and supported by everyone who follows the Green and Red. This would allow the administrators to administrate, and players to play without the constant burden on the gathering funds by our volunteers

  33. Onemoreyear,
    I live in Ireland and have an Irish Credit card but I’ve still given up on Mayo lotto. When I joined a few years ago I paid for ten weeks but still got weekly reminders. When my ten weeks were up it was the same reminder which was a waste of time. With my club lotto – I’m not in a Mayo club – I get a reminder only when my ten weeks are up. Then there are Passwords, the bane of my life. Suggestions on improvements are a waste of time – ignored. So bye bye lotto.

  34. AndyD. Made contact with Mayo gaa a few months ago. Said they would contact the people who run it, but heard nothing. A great way to generate income especially with overseas supporters. A shame really.

  35. Folks, excuse me for spotting the irony here but we’re all donating in some way (or have donated) over the years and we’re still doing so, that’s what’s beautiful. A contribution now won’t make a blind bit of difference to our chances of winning next Saturday but any support given could/would/should mean that hope remains and that we can leave our usernames for the MayoGAA blog to our grandkids when we pass. Creidhmheach!

  36. Willie Joe it might make sense to move the fundraiser into the Title with a graphic. Some people might skip past Thursday round-up as there’s quite a few articles currently.

  37. Waiting on pay day on thursday but will drop the price of a ticket because anything that might help is important. I’d happily throw out 300 if I had it between a ticket, drinks, food, travel etc on AI day and the lads have gave us something this year to be proud of. I have mayo flags on either side of my car in Galway city. I feel like an Israelite diplomat driving though the west bank. Everyday until the 18th is very enjoyable, it is worth the price of a ticket.

    Agree with what someone said above, can’t recall who. T.Parsons would be great for this game if he can even be fit enough for half a game, has been a great midfielder but I feel any decent mid can do a good job in the backs, think moran or David brady even on occasions, calm head in the backs, experience and strength. We now have a speedy midfield that is fine back need a big hard lad back there. He can catch and lay off.Full back role is essentially MF without the running and a fair bit more marking and stuff before the ball is in. Would confuse the dubs a bit, worth the risk.

    Anyway, let’s enjoy the hurling.

    Waterford for Liam to start it off…

    And get out the st.Jude medal after, saint of lost causes. Not that I am religious but I will start believing in god if we topple the dubs. I’d go as far as to get a tattoo of james horan’s face on my chest and I have never got a tat. I’ll at least get his name and the year. Wishful thinking. Anyway, this is what we live for as mayogaa bloggers. These few days before an AI. We have been here so many times, we are experts in this pre final feeling now. We know we are only kicks away from Mr.Maguire.

    * 8 days out
    Here come the nerves, have a great weekend and a nervy next week…
    and hopefully the mayo of 15/16 confidence comes through again

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